Which is Better? God Creating or Not Creating?

Posted: September 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dr. John Feinberg has written that there is not “a” problem of evil but “many” problems of evil. “As we shall see, evil’s existence poses a variety of problems for any number of theistic positions” (The Many Faces of Evil, John Feinberg). As one who believes in a God who is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, I must answer the question that David Hume (and many others) has posed:

“Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent? Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent? Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”

David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

There is no doubt that this is a complex issue. Every Monday I sit in a seminar at Boyce College and spend almost three hours discussing this topic. We are reading about 3,000 pages on this issue and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the amount of ink that has been spilled to try and formulate possible answers to this theological, philosophical, and religious problem.

In the course of the conversation one must admit that this world is filled with evil. The daily homicides, the natural disasters, the torture, rape, and abduction of children, all testify to the reality of evil in our universe. Simply appealing to Genesis 3 as the cause does not satisfy all the objections and does not finally answer all the questions.

So, in view of the reality of evil, pain, suffering, disease, famine, rape, murder, and death, the question comes, “Would it have been better for God not to create?” Would it have been better if God, who knew of all the evil that would enter the world upon His creation of it, would have chosen to not create?

I have formulated a response that I believe is satisfactory. But, I would love to hear other thoughts before posting my own.

  1. betty says:

    I’m considering my thoughts but I will say it seems kinda silly for man to even consider what would have been better for God.

    • Jonathon says:

      I agree Betty. I think, however, we can offer a more comprehensive answer than this.

      Although your initial response will play a role in my overall response, I feel it is insufficient to answer the question fully.

      Paul does say, “who are you, o man” to question God! But Paul, and the rest of the New Testament, does more than this.

      Thanks for the comment and I look forward to further thoughts!

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